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Milestones • THREE SEPARATE anniversaries, each quite distinct in character, hold significance for Modern Drama at this time and form the subject of these briefprefatory remarks. Beckett at 70 Earlier this year Samuel Beckett celebrated his seventieth birthday, and the present number of Modern Drama has been envisioned as a mini-special issue to mark the occasion - a modest and informal birthday tribute to one of the outstanding playwrights and novelists of this century. All the articles which appear in this issue are related to the general theme of absurdist drama; the three essays on Beckett's plays take their place among the nearly half a hundred studies of his work that have appeared in these pages over th.e years. A checklist of Beckett criticism in Modern Drama, initially compiled for the editor's own use and offered below for the information of our readers (see pp. 261-63), dramatizes the lively critical interest which his writing has continued to generate in this journal. In addition, Beckett himself has, with characteristic kindness, allowed us to publish two original works by him in this issue: "Roundelay," a previously unpublished poem, comes to us through the good offices of Professor Laure Riese, an associate editor of MD; a definitive new text of Come and Go, introduced and edited by Professor Breon Mitchell, also appears here for the first time through the gracious permission of the playwright, Grove Press, and Washington University Libraries, St. Louis, Missouri. U.S.A. at 200 As already announced in previous issues, the next number of Modern Drama (December 1976) will be a special issue compiled to mark the 221 222 MILESTONES U.S. Bicentennial. It is anticipated that this number, for which Professor Walter J. Meserve will serve as Guest Editor and Professor Lise-Lone Marker will act as co-editor, will include a broad spectrum of studies investigating significant aspects of American drama and its development. Although, as one editorial board member waggishly suggested, we have hereby missed a rare opportunity to publish a British Drama issue, in celebration of Britain's loss of her obstreperous colony, the present, more conventional plan has its obvious merits, and has met with a most encouraging response. Both the number and quality of submissions have been high, and should ensure a stimulating and wide-ranging discussion of the issue's special theme. MDatXX Looking ahead to one further milestone, Modern Drama will begin its twentieth year of publication in 1977. Some four years ago, when the journal transferred its editorial offices to the University ofToronto, I had occasion to write in this space that "the first fifteen years of the journal's existence have been quickened by exciting developments in the field itself . A generation of new playwrights, armed with new ideas and new techniques, has emerged (and partly submerged again, it appears), and a second wave seems well on the way." That this bright promise of a new wave of contemporary dramatists has, to some extent at least, been blunted in recent theatre seasons by a pervasive creative recession seems obvious. Nevertheless, scholarly interest in the field of modern drama studies is unabated and continues to flourish and deepen, as assessments of new voices and explorations of new methods of analysis mingle with a renewed attention to the nineteenth-century founders and forerunners of modernism in drama and theatre. As its Editor since 1972, I have drawn considerable satisfaction from the fact that MD has maintained its position at the centre of these critical developments in its field, and has at the same time become firmly established in its new editorial home at Toronto . It has been my wish that, with the appearance of Volume XX next year, Modern Drama should become the responsibility ofa new Editor; it is a particular pleasure to announce, on behalf of the Graduate Centre for Study of Drama, that Professor Jill Levenson of this University has agreed to accept this appointment. As my term of editorship draws to a close, I would be remiss if I did not express my sincere gratitude to the associate editors and editorial board of MD for the indispensable help and unflagging support which they have given...


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